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Afrika Eye Film Festival: stories by African and diaspora voices

28-30 October 2011. Exploring drama of revolt and dictatorship in Africa

Afrika Eye, the UK’s pioneering African film festival, returns to Bristol’s Watershed in partnership with Ujima Radio from 28th to 30th October 2011 – during Black History Month.

The festival celebrates the power of African film makers, the complexity and richness of their cultures and histories. 

This year’s brilliant line up of films explores popular uprising in North Africa, the horrifying story of dictatorship in Zimbabwe and the drama of the struggle to maintain democracy in Ghana – all framed with two fantastic music films from Africa and the Diaspora. The opening documentary explores the power of music in the struggle for freedom. Harry Balafonte’s life and work, as expressed in the opening film “Sing Your Song” (28th October) is an inspiration towards the goal of freedom. The film will be followed by the Afrika Eye launch party where Moroccan music maestro Hassan Erraji and his fusion band will fire up the dance floor with uplifting Arabesque grooves.  

“Our films this year deal with the fascinating gamut of African politics, from tyranny to functioning democracy to popular uprising and revolution,” says Simon Bright, an exiled Zimbabwean film maker living in Bristol. Simon is the co-director of Afrika Eye and director of the Mugabe film which he filmed undercover in Zimbabwe.

The festival showcases films from North Africa, such as “No More Fear” about the recent Tunisian revolution, selected for Cannes this year. From West Africa comes the drama of “An African Election”.

And from the South comes the European premiere of “Robert Mugabe…What Happened?”, a feature length documentary investigating Mugabe’s astonishing metamorphosis from liberator to tyrant. The film has been playing to packed audiences across South Africa since its release in July 2011 and is being used by activist NGOs in South Africa and even in Zimbabwe itself (circulated undercover) to raise awareness of issues around Mugabe and the upcoming elections in the country next year.

Once again Afrika Eye is running it’s Eye-Full short film competition offering local Bristol film makers the chance to submit their work for inclusion in the festival (details at www.afrikaeye.org.uk), and in association with First Born Productions in Bristol, Afrika Eye is sponsoring young film makers to create a film for the event.

In conjunction with Bristol’s Festival of Ideas, Afrika Eye also brings an enticing talk about democracy, dictatorship and revolution on 29th October with Lord Paul Boateng, former UK Cabinet Minister, who originally hails from Ghana.

He will present new insights into challenges and opportunities facing North and Sub-Saharan Africa. “This exciting festival provides a welcome opportunity to focus on the challenges and opportunities that Africa presents at this critical time,” says Lord Boateng.

For more details about Afrika Eye Film Festival, please visit www.afrikaeye.org.uk

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